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#WeChoose Equity In Education Campaign

Launched just after Education Secretary Betsy DeVoss was appointed in February, 2017, the #WeChoose campaign is fighting for equity in education. They write:

“We are not fooled by the ‘illusion of school choice.’ The policies of the last twenty years, driven more by private interests than by concern for our children’s education, are devastating our neighborhoods and our democratic rights. Only by organizing locally and coming together nationally will we build the power we need to change local, state, and federal policy and win back our public schools.

School closings are a key issue now because if our communities don’t have schools, we will have little to fight for. But if we only fight against closings, we won’t succeed at building the kind of sustainable school transformation that will carry us forward. Therefore, we are striving to build a national movement grounded in racial justice, education equity and building world-class sustainable community schools across the United States.

Journey for Justice is intentionally carving a space for organized low-income and working class communities, who are directly impacted by top-down corporate education interventions. Our member organizations are built and led primarily by parents and youth of color and we fight unapologetically for community-driven school improvement that allows us to be genuine and in the forefront. We will work in partnership with true allies who share our vision and commitment to our leadership.

We are the #WeChoose Coalition! The We Choose Campaign is a declaration from hundreds of thousands of parents and students and cities across the United States with the clear, yet profound message – we reject and resist corporate education policies that are inflicted upon our children without our voice. The failure of previous administrations to respect the voices of all Americans has set the tone for this perilous moment that we are in now. We reject appointed school boards! We reject zero tolerance policies that criminalize our children! We reject mediocre corporate education interventions that are only accepted because of the race of the children served. We choose equity. We choose sanctuary cities for Muslims and all immigrants. We will organize local coalitions and alliances to build the power to realize this vision.”

Join them on Facebook here. Sign up online here.

Here are the demands:

  • A Moratorium on School Privatization – Only 1 in 5 charter schools outperforms traditional public schools. The overwhelming majority perform the same or worse than public schools. It is a failed experiment that harms children.
  • The Creation of 10,000 Sustainable Community Schools – We want strong neighborhood schools with a curriculum that is engaging, relevant and rigorous; supports for high-quality teaching and not high stakes testing; wraparound supports for every child; student-centered school climates; and the end to zero tolerance policies in schools and transformative parent and community engagement.
  • End Zero Tolerance Policies in Public Schools NOW – Criminalizing children is morally reprehensible and it does not make schools safer. We support restorative justice practices and leadership developed programming to organize humane accountability and character development opportunities.
  • National Equity Assessment – We believe that equity is one of the major failures of public education. The U.S. ranks 19th in the world in education; when you remove the effects of poverty we are number 2.
  • Stop the Attack on Black Teachers – A 2015 Shanker Institute study found a rapid decline in the number of Black teachers in 9 major cities impacted by school privatization.
  • End State Takeovers, Appointed School Boards and Mayoral Control – Privatizers have pushed for policies that remove locally elected school boards, preventing taxpayers from holding appointed school boards accountable for the policies they set.
  • Eliminate the Over-Reliance on Standardized Tests in Public Schools – We know that the best school systems use multiple assessments to gauge student progress and needs. Testing to punish is steeped in the deepest racist tradition of supporting the illusion of white supremacy.

Join them on Facebook here. Sign up online here.

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